‘Business Event’. Even the words can conjure up a picture of, well…boredom! Conference halls, stale conversation and the same old, same old, which, by the way, is forgotten in a couple of days. Who wants that for their business? What your business needs is an event that creates ‘wow’ factor and gets people talking. But how do you execute something so out of the box? Something that will ensure they never forget about you?
For the event itself think about choosing a venue that is a little more imaginative than the usual conference room. What is your theme or the time of year? If you are launching a product, perhaps a location that highlights what you do best? A different location, such as a river boat, country house, marquee, art gallery or restaurant won’t necessarily be more expensive but it may help create the atmosphere you need to make your event more exciting and a little different.
We recently had our 5th year in business celebrations which we held at our shared office space, New Venture Institute in the Flinders at Tonsley Building. This building is a twenty million dollar building and always pleases our clients, guests and staff when we use it, so it was the perfect venue to showcase where our office is based so our clients can picture this in their minds. I’m a strong believer in supporting local business, which is exactly what I did to make this event as memorable as possible. I used the services of three of our valued clients.
Let’s talk food. The catering for our event was by Muffin Break Hallett Cove, such tasty delights of all sorts and our guests raved about. Cater with food that is good quality and allow for particular dietary requirements. Perhaps you wish for your guests to mingle? Finger food or a buffet encourages people to move and the food itself. You could have a table set up and let guests assemble their own champagne cocktail (with a choice of syrups and fresh fruit), or their own burger or ice-cream sundae. Another idea is to hold a wine tasting or your guests could create their own signature cocktail. Perhaps the food could be placed ‘family-style’ down the centre of the table for guests to share. Even the food itself could be themed around your particular event idea.
To make the event a little more, different and topical, we used the talent services and hired an actor from RMT Management. Daffy the ditsy waitress was socially inept to say the least, she had everyone going and it was a real laugh to see everyone’s reactions and responses to her unacceptable social behaviour. Some people may not agree with this tact or approach, but it’s definitely what I’m all about in life and with our company culture, to have a laugh, not to take things too seriously and make the most of every situation you come across.
Splodge did the face painting and balloon making for the children that attended. As a working mum my daughter has been my main motivation in business and she is very much a part of the journey and at this special milestone accommodating fun and entertainment for her and her friends was paramount.
The entertainment at your event may be the only reason your target audience attends so think about what adds value for them. Customise the entertainment to your brand, the theme, audience and location of your event. Perhaps a comedian or live band, or a well-known speaker in your businesses area of expertise. A fashion show or a ‘live’ artist can be a great draw and help to make your event more memorable. Even a photo booth with ‘props’ and a professional photographer can make for a fun evening and great memories to take home.
Don’t forget to post pictures of your event on your blog and on social media too. This is all part of credibility & trust building. Engage people in the process of your event and what it means to your Business.
What do they do with the experience you’ve just given them? A goody bag can be a fun and imaginative way to keep your guests talking long after the event is over. Brand related items, brochures, gift vouchers and other items linked to the event theme might keep clients contacting you down the track and help with the follow up. At least some branding material for them to take home and put on their fridge. You don’t have to play Óprah’ and give away lots of expensive things, but playing smart can work in your favour.
The type of event that you run will help form part of the trust in your brand (or the other way if not done well). So if you are going to run an event, think outside the box, and do it well.
Here’s a mini snapshot of the event! Till next time